A weak organic acid is used to effect the release of CaDPA from Bacillus
or Clostridium endospores, rapidly and at room temperature, to enable
detection and measurement of DPA and thereby the assessment of risk
associated with exposure to Bacillus anthracis, Clostridium botulinum,
and like spores. The method can be applied to airborne, food-borne, and
water-borne spores, as well as to spores collected from surfaces or
contained in body fluids, and analysis is advantageously carried out
using surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy.